Wednesday, July 26, 2017

South Sudan President Pushes for SPLM Re-unification
July 22, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir ended his two-day visit to Uganda during which he held talks with politicians led by Rebecca Nyandeng, widow of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) founder, late John Garang de Mabior.

Kiir left the South Sudan capital, Juba on Thursday under what was initially reported as going for bilateral talks with President Yoweri Museveni.

However, the objective of the Kiir’s visit later turned out to be a consultation with Museveni and some members of the former political detainees on how the latter could convince some of his colleagues with whom he fell out to return to the party.

South Sudan’s Defence Minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, senior presidential adviser and special envoy, Nhial Deng Nhial, acting SPLM secretary Jemma Nunu Kumba and the minister in the president’s office, Mayiik Ayii Deng accompanied President Kiir.

The delegation that met President Yoweri Museveni comprised of Nyandeng, foreign affairs minister, Deng Alor Kuol, Transport minister John Luk Jok. Other opposition figures who took part in the meeting on the former detainees side were former finance minister Kosti Manibe and former national security minister, Oyay Deng Ajak.

The acting SPLM Secretary General said that the meeting in Uganda was based on the initiative by the President on his capacity as the chairman of SPLM in order to bring the country’s ruling party together and reunite, as well as to reconcile and work as one party.

The official described the meeting as “successful”, where SPLM leaders reportedly re-affirmed their commitment to reunite the party.

The unity of the ruling party is paramount and this will bring a lasting peace to the people of South Sudan, said Kumba, adding that the meeting also agreed on developing a roadmap between the SPLM factions and they will meet on 27 July 2017 in Uganda.

The date for the next round of the meeting was adjusted to the first week of next month to give Museveni ample time to carry out consultations with other factions said to have historical connections and association to the SPLM.

In May this year, three factions of South Sudan’s ruling party agreed in Kampala to set aside their differences and work out a roadmap to reunify the historical party.

The meeting was, however, boycotted by the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) led by South Sudan’s former First-Vice President, Riek Machar.

South Sudan was plunged into conflict in December 2013 as the rivalry between Kiir and his then-Vice President, Riek Machar, turned into a civil war. The fighting, which has often been along ethnic lines, triggered Africa’s worst refugee crisis, with over three million people fleeing their home


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